Please welcome Danie Ware to The Qwillery as part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blogs. Ecko Rising is published today in the US by Titan Books. Happy Publication to Danie! You may read Danie's Guest Blog - Why I stopped writing, and how I started again: a blog post for anyone who's ever thrown in the towel - here.
TQ: Welcome to The Qwillery.
Danie: Thank you very much – it’s very good to be here!
TQ: When and why did you start writing?
Danie: I’ve been writing since I was a cub, since I could put my chubby mitt round a pencil. I think if you read enough, imagine enough, the words reach critical mass – and all of the ones you’ve put in have to fine some way of getting out again. Throughout my twenties, I churned out reams and reams of epic fantasy, short stories and an ongoing and colossal novel that was, predictably completely unpublishable. Some of the core concepts are still with me, though, and have gone on to become Ecko Rising.
TQ: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Danie: Semi-colons. Oh, was that not what you meant? I like writing combat. I've done a dozen years in Dark Age and Mediaeval re-enactment, fought on battlefields throughout the UK, taken on guys twice my size – occasionally even beaten some of them! I’ve fought as a member of a unit, and I’ve commanded other warriors on the field. I remember how it feels and smells. My battering days are probably behind me, but I still get a huge kick out of writing it!
TQ: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Danie: A little of both – I always have an MSExcel, chapter-by-chapter plot, but sometimes the characters just decide they don’t want to got that way right now and then it’s seat of the pants time! Ecko being who and what he is - he’s particularly guilty of this! There are advantages to both methods, though – sometimes too much plotting can leave a narrative blocky and predictable, and sometimes to much pantsing just comes out as pure chaos.
TQ: What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?
Danie: Simple answer – time. I’m a single parent with an energetic eight year old son (who has a whole agenda of his own), plus I work for London retailer Forbidden Planet, organising their social media and events… sometimes, simply scheduling my days to just fit the writing in, is the hardest thing in the world. I try and do at least something every day, keep the narrative alive and the characters talking to each other. And to me!
TQ: Describe Ecko Rising in 140 characters or less.
Danie: Sardonic fantasy, with a healthy dusting of sex, violence and sarcasm. It's a new take on an old friend!
TQ: What inspired you to write Ecko Rising?
Danie: My friends – both old and new. All the fiction I wrote during my twenties was involving my friends and inspired by them, inspired by the re-enactment mentioned above, and by the massive creativity we all shared. Coming back to the craft nearly ten years later, it was a daunting thing to pick up again – and it was the support of the people around me that gave me the confidence to do so.
TQ: What sort of research did you do for Ecko Rising?
Danie: What is this research of which you speak? During our re-enactment years, the living history and authentic kit and combat methods were simply around us all the time – call that research by osmosis, if you like. W really lived it! A lot of Ecko’s kit and technical crafting came from the creative committees of our youth; it was very much a team effort. Research done deliberately and personally adds up to geographical and medical data, a lot about horses, and a LOT about bamboo.
TQ: Who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?
Danie: Ecko himself is both the easiest and the hardest – because I have to be angry, I have to have a particular savage sense of humour and edged wit. Assuming I can get into the zone (cycling’s always good), then the character is the perfect outlet – he’s a cathartic release of all that built-up rage. If I’m not angry, I usually write someone else for a bit!
TQ: Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Ecko Rising?
Danie: It’s very hard to choose! I think my favourite scenes are the early ones, where Ecko raids Grey’s base, and then when he first wakes up in the Wanderer. Going though eyes and brain, what he saw and how he made sense of it all (or doesn’t) was a fantastic, downhill rush of aggression and bafflement and humour. I also have a lot of fun writing Redlock and Triqueta – they’re my downtime, if you like!
TQ: What's next?
Danie: Ecko Burning, the sequel to this one, is out in the UK in October, and I’m halfway through the first draft of the third of the series. After that, we shall see!
TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery
Danie: Thank you for having me!
About Ecko Rising
Titan, Books June 11, 2013
Trade Paperback and eBook, 480 pages
In a futuristic London where technological body modification is the norm, Ecko stands alone as a testament to the extreme capabilities of his society. Driven half mad by the systems running his body, Ecko is a criminal for hire. No job is too dangerous or insane.
When a mission goes wrong and Ecko finds himself catapulted across dimensions into a peaceful and unadvanced society living in fear of 'magic', he must confront his own percepions of reality and his place within it.
A thrilling debut, Ecko Rising explores the massive range of the sci-fi and fantasy genres, and the possible implications of pitting them against one another. Author Danie Ware creates an immersive and richly imagined world that readers will be eager to explore in the first book in this exciting new trilogy.
This is the UK cover for Ecko Burning:
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